The lab rat

The first thing that comes to mind when I think of animal testing is the rat; the white lab rat to be specific. There is no doubt that through television, word of mouth, and several case studies that this idea is stuck in my mind, and most likely many others too.

Lab animal testing = white lab rat

example: in the movie I Am Legend, starring Will Smith, in his basement laboratory he has a testing facility for his concoctions. What animal does he test them on? The lab rat, and they are ALL WHITE. It’s just a modern idea that the white lab rat came to be through many representations.

Rats have been a part of humans lives for thousands of years. Whether they be in our cities, sewers, manage to find their way onto our boats, or other scenarios, they are always in close contact with humans (obviously not by the human’s choice). Rats are considered filthy, disgusting creatures in most societies.  There is no doubt however that this is true due to their dwelling situations.

You can’t talk about rat history without bringing up the Plague. Carried by these nasty vermin, this disease wiped out millions of people. It got to the point where people were afraid to even bathe, claiming the disease was carried in water. (could you imagine living in a society where staying un-bathed was more helpful than cleaning yourself?)

Back to scientific testing on these bastards: I am a huge animal rights advocate. I believe in good treatment of all (ehem, most) animals. But for some reason I can’t find myself being in advocate for the rat? Personally, what benefits does a rat have, living in the wild, scavenging for food at all times of the day? At least in a scientific lab they are fed, watered, nurtured, etc. Yes, I know some of the testing is inhumane, or outrageous. But ladies and gentlemen, we live is an extremely modern world, where new products are being created EVERYDAY. So what would you rather have, a defective product that’s potentially harmful to humans because it was never tested, or a few dead lab rats that have lived a good life so far, never having to worry about food or water, and a safe product? I know this might sound like it goes against my other posts (I have an extreme post-domestic mindset, according to Bulliet), but this just seems like the right idea.


Oh yeah, did I mention I didn’t like rats at all?